FILE PHOTO – Employees of Germany’s largest business bank, Deutsche Bank, gather ahead of the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of U.S. Senate Democrats is urging the Federal Reserve to investigate Deutsche Bank AG’s relationship with President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
The lawmakers, led by Senators Chris Van Hollen and Sherrod Brown, the senior Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, said news reports of potentially suspicious transactions at the bank involving Trump business entities merit further examination.
The New York Times reported on May 19 that anti-money laundering specialists at the bank were overruled by executives after recommending several transactions involving entities controlled by Trump or his family be reported to the government as suspicious. The bank denied the report at the time, as did Trump in a tweet.
The bank declined to comment on Thursday’s letter, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Republican Trump is a New York businessman-turned-politician whose first elected office is the presidency.
The senators ask the Fed if any of their staff met with bank whistleblowers identified in the Times story or uncovered other information related to the accusations. The Fed said it had received the letter and planned to respond.
Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank has been a focal point for Democratic Party investigators in Congress, as the bank has served as a principle lender for Trump’s real estate business.
Democrats in the House have subpoenaed the bank for financial records involving Trump, his family and his businesses. That investigatory effort is on hold while Trump’s lawyers challenge the subpoena in court.
Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Howard Goller